This post was inspired by the recent collaboration between Gucci and The North Face. On the surface two brands which don’t really align together. But, maybe this is why it’s ingenious.
Let’s take a look at some surprising yet brilliant partnerships from brands, we’ve managed to keep this to our favourite three, focusing on the luxury fashion collaborations:
Louis Vuitton X League of Legends (2019) – when I first heard about this collaboration I was so confused. Why was Louis Vuitton partnering with an e-sports company? League of Legends is an online, team based game, developed by Riot Games. For the 2019 World Championship, Louis Vuitton partnered with Riot games to create a travel case for the trophy. I actually managed to attend the World Championship Final in Paris which is where I first heard about the partnership. The entrance to the venue had printed displays ft. the cobranded artwork – at first I thought, wow that really looks like LV. A collaboration didn’t even cross my mind: it was during a behind-the-scenes tour that it was brought to my attention. What’s at the heart of the collaboration is a joint passion for innovation and benefits for both brands. League of Legends has a huge following of not only gamers, but also spectators of the online game – a huge audience for LV to be exposed to, globally. Whilst for LoL, LV adds that level of exclusivity – taking them from an exclusively gamer brand to one of higher esteem. A joint collection of clothing and accessories allows gamers & fans alike to add another dimension to their immersion in the LoL world – play the game, watch the game, look the part. It’s ingenious.
Smeg X Dolce & Gabbana – this one I stumbled across whilst looking for kitchen appliances when I moved home very recently. Seeking out a new toaster, I scoured the internet for something both aesthetically pleasing and functional. And that’s when I saw it: this beautifully decorative toaster (with the beautifully high price tag to go along with it, spoiler alert, I did not purchase). Smeg’s products are not cheap, period. Already your target market are those after something slightly more elite and of course, timelessly stylish. But it is pure genius to work with a luxury brand and expand their footprint further. The chances are, if you have the income to support a D&G habit, then you have the income to buy slightly more upmarket home appliances (and also the desire for them to look good).
Gucci X The North Face – we couldn’t finish this article off without referring to the one that inspired it all. Whether you like the products or not (you have to agree they have a very particular style) the joining of a luxury brand with the edgier, outdoor-wear based brand opens up a whole new audience for both groups. I can’t help think about the timing of this collaboration particularly either. We’ve been in this pandemic for a year now and especially here in the UK, people have been taking more advantage of the outdoors. With overseas holidays and indoor gatherings/parties on hold for the foreseeable future, more and more people are turning to the outdoors in their local areas to give them the escapism they so desperately crave. For those who have been lucky enough to not be facing financial difficulty the Gucci X TNF partnership gives them an ideal outlet to spend some of their disposable income.
The question is, if you’re a business owner, how do you go about a brand collaboration? What makes them successful and how can you evaluate if one is right for you?
We’ll cover it next week – subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out!